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How to Choose a Great Restaurant

by Angela
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Take a look up or down any town centre high street and there is probably an abundance of local restaurants to choose from.

Your selection of restaurant will often be influenced by what ‘type’ of food you might be craving. We have provided some tips on choosing a great restaurant.

This may seem like the obvious first recommendation but here are something you may not have considered when choosing a great restaurant is whether your food is locally sourced? Locally sourced food is often fresher and offers better value for money. Locally sourced food also means you are helping to support the local economy.

In the current economy this is important, but price and value should be carefully considered. Both will be impacted by restaurant location, reputation, quality of food and quality of the Chef’s and a good restaurant will offer a good balance. Unless the restaurant has a Michelin Star (or two) then don’t pay through the nose for good food.

The economy means a lot of restaurants now have offers on throughout the week, just don’t forget to check them out online before you leave and grab yourself a real bargain.

A good menu will offer a variety of food to cater for all tastes and pallets, as well as include vegetarian options.

Maybe not so important when it’s the middle of winter but some restaurants offer some lovely outdoor spaces in the summer and it can be quite nice to dine under the stars. You may also want to consider parking options nearby, unless you are having a drink or two, in which case take a cab.

The ambience will often determine the type of experience you want to enjoy. Do you want a quiet and intimate setting or something a bit more vibrant? You will often be able to tell from the outside, but be sure to walk through the door to find out for yourself.

Reputation & Recommendations
Like all business, many people will go to a restaurant based on its reputation with others. If you and your friends have similar food tastes then you can’t go wrong with a good recommendation. Just be sure to find out what time of day they originally went to ensure an equally as good experience.

Any popular restaurant will take reservations so be sure to check ahead if you want to guarantee yourself a seat at a top local restaurant.

If you are just following your nose and choosing a restaurant off the cuff, don’t be afraid to go in and take a look around, maybe have a drink at the bar before deciding whether you want to eat there. If you don’t, don’t be afraid to leave.

Invariably a good restaurant will find you by virtue of the fact it looks clean, the food smells good and there are plenty of people dining there.

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